A team around Siew Woh Choo at Xi’an’s Jiaotong – Liverpool University http://www.xjtlu.edu.cn/en/ has sequenced the pangolin genome. Pangolins selective diet of ants and their poor immunity makes it difficult to keep them in captivity, they are an endangered species. Pangolins are the only mammals where the skin has developed into scales. In this process, they have lost gene functions such as interferon-epsilon (IFNE) which is involved in the human skin in protection agains pathogens. Choo and colleagues will thus study the pangoline genome in view of skin immunity.
CAS news release, October 17, 2018